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B2B Marketers: Do You Delight or Just Deliver?

by Jennifer Beever on December 6, 2013

Flickr Photo by Karen Roe, Some Rights Reserved

In the new book, The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty, authors Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick Delisi say it’s enough to deliver consistently. No need to delight, enchant, shock and awe.

According to an article in Sales and Marketing Management magazine, Delighting Customers Doesn’t Pay, The book authors base their claim on more than 97,000 customer surveys, the results of which show that customers whose expectations are exceeded are not more loyal than those whose expectations are just met consistently. The survey results show that loyalty doesn’t increase as customers experience exceptional service.

I believe the statistics the authors of the book cite. They say that only 16% of customers feel their expectations are exceeded, and 84% of customers merely have their expectations met or less. 20% of satisfied customers plan to take their business to another provider, and 28% of unsatisfied customers won’t change vendors. I don’t agree with the authors’ claim that we don’t need to delight or exceed expectations.

I thought we had gone beyond the years of claiming “good” customer service as a high bar to reach or a competitive advantage. It is a requirement – a given – for remaining in business today. The release of these survey results doesn’t mean we don’t have to try as hard. I think delight is still a good thing when it comes to marketing and customer service. Note that it’s not just a customer service department issue. Delight starts with marketing and sales – often the first touch point a customer has with a brand. If the brand isn’t delightful; if the sales cycle is ho-hum or lacking; if the purchasing process is average – why would a customer develop loyalty?

B2B Marketers – what do you think? Delight? Or just deliver?

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